The unions and employers in regional transport will again negotiate a new collective labor agreement, the employers have announced. The parties will meet again on Monday. This means that the announced strikes have also been suspended, according to trade union FNV, among others.
In recent months, mainly drivers from companies such as Arriva, Keolis, EBS and Qbuzz have repeatedly stopped working. As a result, many buses were canceled every time.
More than two weeks ago, FNV and CNV suspended the actions to talk to the employers again under the guidance of two scouts. In addition, the unions indicated that if they did not see any openings for real negotiations in those talks, there would be further strikes afterwards.
But steps have been taken under the leadership of the scouts, confirms FNV director Marijn van der Gaag. “There is a broader basis, including work pressure measures.” CNV negotiator Hanane Chikhi also sees “sufficient basis for new negotiations”.
The unions therefore see opportunities to successfully complete those negotiations. “We are not there yet, but we aim to have an agreement by Easter,” says Van der Gaag of FNV. But that is not a hard deadline and the unions are also taking into account the possibility that the talks will get stuck again.
The collective bargaining conflict in regional transport revolves around wage increases, among other things. Given the recent high inflation, the unions want much more extra wages than the employers said they could offer. But for the unions it is also very important that the workload goes down. CNV is pleased with the steps employers are prepared to take on this subject. “Think of this as extra breaks, more air in the services and improvement in the schedules and services,” explains Chikihi.
About 13,000 people fall under the regional transport collective agreement. Trade unions and employers will discuss the smaller collective labor agreement in regional transport, which applies to 1300 employees, on Wednesday. This is an exploratory conversation, carrier Arriva says.